Friday Five Linkup

Its time for the Friday Five link-up. Check out Mar, Cynthia and Courtney‘s blogs! They are the inspiration behind these weekly posts!

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1) As I mentioned yesterday in my post about feet, the Nike Pegasus is my lucky shoe.

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I’m on the left!

2) Picking out an outfit the night before to match my pink and peach colored Pegasus, that is also weather appropriate. Everyone always asks would you rather be cold or hot while running? Umm how about neither! The last couple of races I held a fashion show, my roommate as the judge, to find the outfit winner. And then of course there is the selfie that takes place that morning.

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3) Pre-race oatmeal. Just oats and hot water on race day. I keep it as simple as possible to keep the stomach nice and calm.

4) Proper hydration is key especially for summer races. The majority of races I’ve done have been in the extreme heat. I drink my Nalgene on the way to the race. I rather have to make a bathroom stop during the race (though I have never had to) than get dehydrated.

5) And I’ll never forget to roll!

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Feet and Shoes, Shoes and Feet

Any runner would agree that happy feet are crucial to happy running. So as a runner, feet play a big role in my life.  Not to mention I spent my first year post college working at a running store, touching random people’s feet on the daily. My feet seem to have made their way into a majority of my pictures.

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There are lots of debates in the running world over what kind of box we should be trapping protecting our feet in while we run. I was a barefoot kind of kid. I played with caterpillars in my backyard with my toes in the dirt. My two sports, karate and swimming, never required any type of footwear. I first started running back in 2010 right at the peak of the barefoot running craze. I started barefoot on a track, then onto the roads and then bought a pair of Vibrams. After ensuing incredible foot discomfort and severe ankle pain, I came to my senses. My hipster shoeless phase was over. It was time for a pair of shoes. I won’t bore you with the details of my long-winded shoe story, as I’d imagine there aren’t many shoe nerds/Fleet Feet employees reading this.

So here we go… product reviews

Disclaimer:  This is based on my own personal opinion. None of the running companies that will be mentioned in this post were involved. I’m flattered really, but Nike definitely does not know I exist.

New Balance 860  What I love about this shoe is even though its stability it is still extremely light.  It has extra cushion in the heal, making it ideal for us heal strikers.

Saucony Guide Also a stability shoe, I use the Guide for work, training runs with clients, Crossfit classes that don’t include Olympic weight lifting.

Nike Pegasus My all-time favorite running shoe. Yes, Nike does make quality running shoes. This isn’t the 90s! Wearing the Pegasus is the closest thing to walking on clouds in the running world. I was dead set against running in them for the first month, as I got this shoe for free as an extra pair to wear to work. #perks of working as a running store. I wore them as an experiment for a half marathon, PRed and felt great and they have been my lucky race day shoe ever since.

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 I got these bad boys for marathon training. For cushioning, Mizuno uses a “wave plate” rather than foam or gel like other brands. I’ve learned that I like these a lot for sprinting or anything under 6 miles but once I’m doing distance my foot craves my pillow-like Pegasus.

Asics GT-2000 Another shoe I got for free! These are awesome to wear to work but there is a little too much going on at the bottom, making it too heavy for me. I have run in them before without issues but I definitely prefer my Riders or Pegs.

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Labor Day 5k

 

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Don’t let that smile fool you. The Jumpstart 5k was no walk in the park. It was HOT and HUMID and HILLY.

Nonetheless I did place top in the women, yay! 22:08, no record there but I think the heat killed the competition.

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5ks are rough when you actually care about your time. Its literally a prolonged sprint for way longer than a sprint should ever be. I’m glad that’s over with. Now on to the longer events…

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Eggplant “bun”

I’m certainly not Paleo anymore. I love me some bread. However, I am not a fan of eating foods without any nutritional value. So during this BBQ weekend I was not about those hamburger buns.

Solution: Grilled eggplant “bun”

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Friday Five Linkup: The Fall

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Its time for a Friday Five linkup with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia; this week is Fall favorites.

1) Gourds are a staple of the autumn season. They satisfy the mind (because its an awesome word), the eye (because they are beautiful) and the taste buds (because they are delicious)!

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The only greeting card I ever bought for myself… yeah, ok, that’s really weird.

 

2) I know pumpkins are gourds, but they deserve their own category. I find pumpkins so aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps because I was one for my first Halloween.

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Baby Keren October 31st 1991

 

Let the pumpkin craze begin; pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes (I make my own unsweetened ones), pumpkin Larabars, pumpkin coffee (sounds better than it tastes). And pumpkin bagels with pumpkin cream cheese was a delicacy at a market in my college town.

3) I’ll be running my first ever marathon on October 11th.

The HARTFORD MARATHON!

4) I love hiking in the Fall. The air is crisp, the weather is perfect and the colorful trees of New England are one of a kind.

5) In addition to expanding my clientele and classes, I plan on expanding my education this Fall. Right now I’m studying for my Strength and Conditioning certification, as I’ve finally decided athletes are my preferred demographic. I’m also hoping to get my Yoga Certification (YogaFit) in the next few months. So I guess it is, in a way, back to school this Fall!

 

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A New Kind of Bucket List

♦♦Rather than writing down what I wish to accomplish, I drafted a long list of everything I have already accomplished in the past 23 years♦♦

Big or small, we all dream. Or at least we should. It is getting excited for the future; which makes us happy and setting goals; which inspires ambition. However, I often spend too much time planning out my future, taking my current life for granted. There are so many times a day where thoughts of the present get pushed aside by thoughts of workouts I plan to tackle, jobs I wish to have, people I want to see. I love my life and rather than thinking about how I’d like to teach abroad, complete an Ironman and fall in love, I have to remember that when I’m engrossed in the present, those things don’t matter. I have my whole life ahead of me to live out my dreams. If I rush the present, I will never be able to enjoy what I have to its fullest.  Last week I turned 23.  I’ve kept a running bucket list for years now and around my birthday I often star the bullets I hope to check off in the year to come. This year was a little different. I drafted a long list of everything I had already accomplished. I listed every race I entered, every place I traveled, every award I received, every milestone both academic and physical. It felt amazing to look at a list nearly three times the length of my bucket list.

I recommend this exercise to everyone. Whether you are stuck in your mind or have a firm grasp on the present, we can all benefit from acknowledging our achievements.

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Friday Five Linkup

Happy Friday readers! Today I’m linking up with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney for the Friday Five.

This week’s theme is Five Things I Love About….

…and I choose….

BLOGGING!!

(seemed appropriate)

As my followers know or any blog-professionals can ascertain, I’m a newbie blogger. I did keep a blog when I lived in China China Blog but that was just uploading pictures and journal entries while trying not to upset the closely monitoring Chinese government. I’ve wanted to start a health-related blog since I got obsessed with reading food and workout blogs, specifically PBfingers (thanks Julie!)  So in April I decided to pull the trigger and with absolutely no research I went to WordPress.com and crafted this baby. I’m kind of a grandma when it comes to technology. Actually I’m worse. My grandma helped me download Words With Friends on my phone. This whole downloading photos and trying to beautify something I can’t really touch has been a little bit of a challenge. But alas, here I am, month 5 into the practice, blindly playing with images on picstitch, linking up with famous bloggers, and tweeting.

And here we go…what I love about blogging, in no specific order.

1 Getting to share my workouts with a population of people who find it interesting.

2) Blogging has made me more motivated to cook so I can share my healthy recipes.

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3) I’ve also become more diligent about not missing workouts to avoid my weekly workout updates from looking lame.

4) I’m loving the opportunity to write and express some visual creativity.  I use to write short stories when I was in high school but then college papers took over. Now living the postgrad life, I can enjoy the art of writing again!

5) Though not my original intention, I’m enjoying the idea of one day being part of the health and fitness blogging community!

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Weekly Workouts

Sunday-My Birthday WOD. Yes Sunday was my 23rd birthday. I’ll get to that in a bit.

1 tire flip, 400 meter run, 15 burpees, 2 tire flips, 400 meter run, 15 burpees…..10 tire flips, 400 meter run, 15 burpees. It took me a beautiful 44 minutes.

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#dirtyknees

 

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: Hot yoga, karate

Wednesday: Crossfit WOD of 400 meter 15lb overhead lunges. Then a 6 mile run with the Fleet Feet Pub Run.

Thursday: 18 miler! (A day off from work to some people means the opposite)piZap_1408713238431

Friday: 1/2 mile recovery swim

Saturday: Will be karate and another short swim

Posted in Circuits, Fitness, Legs, Running, Swimming | Tagged | Leave a comment

Friday Five Linkup

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I’m finally linking up with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney for the Friday Five! These inspirational running bloggers from DC have been posting themes every Friday and inviting fellow bloggers to linkup.

This week’s theme:

Favorite Races

Kic It Olympic Distance Triathlon

1) Instead of starting with a 5k or a fun run race like Warrior Dash or the Color Run, for my very first race I dove right into an Olympic Distance Triathlon. I was dating a guy at the time who was training for an Ironman and without much convincing, maybe just some pity, I let him sign me up. My training plan of swimming in a pool almost everyday and going to a spin class once or twice a week did not quite prepare me for the Long Island Sound open water swim or the rolling gigantic hills of Connecticut. Nonetheless I completed it and had a blast!

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2)Tough Mudder New England

I tagged along with my friend Ashley for a family weekend up at her Grandparents beautiful cottage in Vermont.. Winding up and down a muddy ski slope on a beautiful Vermont day and overcoming the mental challenges of the obstacles makes it one of my favorite races and weekends of all times! After the race we explored the area, went blueberry picking on Ashley’s grandparents property and ate the best fresh home grown vegetables.

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3)The Jumpstart 5k 2014.

After a summer of hardcore Crossfit training I took an entire 3 minutes off 5K my time and won the women’s division!

Accepting my award at the Jumpstart 5k!

Accepting my award at the Jumpstart 5k!

 

4)Sarah Bishop 10k Trail Race

The Sarah Bishop 10k was my first autumn trail race and it was absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves trails in the Fall.

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5)Fairfield Half Marathon 2014

My PR half! In beautiful Fairfield CT along the beach. The weather was a little hot which made it more difficult but I loved the challenge.

My friend Trevor and me post race

My friend Trevor and me post race

 

 

 

Posted in Fitness, Running, Swimming | Tagged | 1 Comment

What does a number mean to you?

First, I did something stupid.

I got on a body mass percentage scale.

Then I did something stupider.

I cared.

Lets back up. A year ago, when I was at the top of my crossfit/distance running/ swimming/weightlifting palooza, I got a body fat percent measurement, assuming to be in the “athletic” percentage. Those scales are fun, you get to hold onto the handles, and if you are in good shape you get psyched about reading the results. Whats not as fun is when you don’t get the results you had hoped for. The number it read had me on the higher end of average, dangling closely on the cusp of obesity! Though I shrugged if off in front of my friends who had partaken in the viewing, it did secretly eat away at me for some time. “What if I am not as in shape as I think I am?”, “What else could I possibly be doing to be ‘healthier’?” and other similar thoughts loomed over me for several months. Then came attempt two. This time on a different scale and in different location. But once again my nerves were far from assuaged when the number once again read 30%. Now my undercover disappointment escalated. This was during my diet craze of attempted vegan/ accidentally starving myself. I cut back on my fat intake as this was back in the day when I believed foods like olive oil and avocados made you fat. Result: feeling extremely low-energized at evening karate classes and just overall less happy.

Fast forward to this past winter. I was high as a kite on Crossfit. I was just about breathing WODs and believing that Paleo is the cure to all of the world’s problems. The CF box I was training at brought in a “doctor” -whatever the hell that means- to measure body fat. So I obviously got on board, especially since she was using radioactive waves that I knew to be a more accurate reading. I was all pumped up when I got out of work early that Friday to make it to my appointment. And guess what my percentage read?! 30%. Yeah, it did. And the process spiraled through again.

This passed Thursday was my 4th and final attempt at this body fat percentage process.  I pretended it was for the soul purpose of learning how to use our gym’s new scale, but secretly I had some hope that the results would finally please me. I know I’m sadistic. But if you have made it this far in my post I’m sure you can relate in some way or the other. And you’ll never guess…30%. Well the morning escalated as it usually does post-measurement. I battled some depression, some exercise addictive thoughts and then went home to blog about it.

I began to write an entry about all my problems when I stopped, thought about it some more and then laughed. I laughed uncontrollably for a solid few minutes. I laughed because I had run 14 miles the day before and done an intensive Crossfit workout that very morning. I laughed because I eat healthier than anyone I know. I laughed because there is not a single ounce of visible of fat on my body. I laughed because of the distress it had caused me in the passed. And then I laughed more to let it all go.

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